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Published On: Fri, Sep 15th, 2017

Biometric Voter Registration Machine Failed to Read Robert Mugabe’s Finger Prints

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President Mugabe is taken through the inaugural biometric voter registration (BVR) process by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission computer technician Noel Shumba at State House in Harare yesterday, marking the commencement of voter registration ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections. — (Picture by Chief Photographer Believe Nyakudjara)

President Mugabe is taken through the inaugural biometric voter registration (BVR) process by Zimbabwe Electoral Commission computer technician Noel Shumba at State House in Harare yesterday, marking the commencement of voter registration ahead of the 2018 harmonised elections. — (Picture by Chief Photographer Believe Nyakudjara)

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe struggled to have his finger prints taken and refused to give his phone number to Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) as he registered to vote at State House Thursday.

The Zanu PF strongman’s wife also refused to mess her coiffure by pushing back the fake hair to reveal her ears for a voter card photo.

Mugabe and his wife registered to vote after the 93-year-old leader unveiled the new biometric voter registration (BVR) programme ahead of general elections due next year.

ZEC staff looked ill at ease with their hands visibly shaking as they took the power couple through the registration process.

When they asked Mugabe for his phone number, the veteran leader shook his head saying, “Phone number no, no; I can’t give you my phone number.”

Not sure what to do, the ZEC officials looked to cabinet secretary Misheck Sibanda for guidance who whispered something after which the process continued.

But there was another hiccup as the machine failed to read the president’s finger prints. Success was only achieved after several attempts, resulting in near-centenarian complaining that the process took too long.

Next it was Grace Mugabe, who flatly refused when ZEC officials asked her to pull back her hair extensions to expose her ears so they could take a mugshot of her.

Handidi ne nzeve dzangu, hazviite (I won’t expose my ears; no way!),” she said

According to ZEC the registration will be rolled out to other centres in the districts beginning Monday with more than 7 million voters expected to be registered.

Zimbabwe holds crunch elections next year with Mugabe seeking another five-year term at the helm.

In power since independence in 1980, Mugabe rules out retirement, lamenting that he cannot see a capable successor in the ruling party.

He has also ignored exhortations by wife Grace to name a successor.

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